"Most blessed of the patriarchs" : Thomas Jefferson and the empire of the imagination

by Annette Gordon-Reed

Other authorsPeter S. Onuf (Author.)
Hardcover, 2016





New York : Liveright Publishing Corporation, 2016.


Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Annette Gordon-Reed teams up with the country's leading Jefferson scholar, Peter S. Onuf, to present an absorbing and revealing character study that finally clarifies the philosophy of Thomas Jefferson. Tracing Jefferson's development and maturation from his youth to his old age, the authors explore what they call the "empire" of Jefferson's imagination--his expansive state of mind born of the intellectual influences and life experiences that led him into public life as a modern avatar of the enlightenment, who often likened himself to an ancient figure--"the most blessed of the patriarchs."

User reviews

LibraryThing member DLMorrese
This biography focuses on Jefferson's personal life, his home, his family, and his attitudes about them. He was progressive in many ways, a man of the Enlightenment, but his beliefs about gender, race, and religion remained constrained by his times. The impression I'm left with from this book is that Jefferson sincerely meant well and did his best.… (more)
LibraryThing member msaucier818
A great book on Thomas Jefferson by the expert on him - Annette Gordon-Reed. This book is not a traditional biography. It does go through his life chronologically, but it is a bit more thematic in nature as it focuses more on his views on family, slavery, society, etc... there is very little in terms of background information on the Revolution or his specific actions as President, but I don't feel like that this book needed any of it. Recommended for anyone who loves the time period and enjoys reading history.… (more)


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